Make it a home
Living in a rental property can be hard if your landlord won't let you do the little things that make a house a home. There are a few designer tips you can use to decorate a rental.
Textiles are one of the easiest ways to dress up a rental home. From upholstery fabrics to rugs, you can pick and choose colours and patterns that complement your decor style and bring layers of texture into living rooms to overcome the stark, empty look of a rental home.
Shop at your favourite home decor stores for accessories that can fill up the space with personality and charm... your personality, and you will find that rooms will come to live without ever hammering a nail into the wall.
Most landlords set down rules for rental properties, and while paying the rent on time is probably top of the list, so is adding your own personal touch. It is possible to work within the conditions of your rental agreement to add a few touches here and there that won't cost a fortune, and that you will be able to take with you when you move on.
If you absolutely must paint the walls, speak to your landlord and come to an agreement that you will use neutral or muted colours - or agree to paint them white again before you leave. Not all landlords are ogres, and engaging in discussion may be to the benefit of both parties, especially if the property is in need of some TLC.
The same applies to a couple of picture hangers here and there, but obviously not everywhere! It's easy to fill a nail hole with interior crack filler, sand it smooth and then paint over. If you plan of staying for a while and want to make it more homey or do small fix-ups, discuss your options with the landlord.
Every home, rented or not, needs storage, and free-standing storage units can be bought or made to fill up alcoves and blank walls. With a bit of styling you can bring colour and pattern into a room with little effort. Make a variety of bookshelves for display or storage for every room.
Create a bold display by painting the back of a bookshelf in a bold colour, or glue wallpaper or wrapping paper on the back for an interesting focal piece.
A touch of nature is good for any home and there's no reason why you can't have a few plants dotted around a room. Even if you don't have a green thumb, there are plants that require very little attention other than the occasional drop of water. And plants and arrangements of fresh flowers do so much to liven up a home.
There is a bright side to living in a rental home... you get to work on a blank canvas. The minimal decorating in rental properties means that everything is a single colour, white. You're not overwhelmed with having to choose complementary colours or overloading the senses with pattern - you get to start out from scratch.
Take advantage of this with window treatments that frame the view and also bring colour, texture and pattern into a plain room. You don't have to opt for patterned fabric, but if the room needs some oomph - this is definitely the way to go.
If there is one thing that rental properties lack, it's eye-catching light fittings - more often than not they are basic at best. Invest in your own light fittings and lamps and take these with you wherever you go! If you don't have the skills to wire up your own light fittings, ask a friend or get the best quotes for an electrician / handyman to fit them for you.
Table lamps and floor lamps don't need to be wired up and add just as much personality and atmosphere to a rental home, so splurge on something really special that will be a highlight feature.